The next patch: what I hope doesn't happen

Note- this thread is not intended to be one of those ones where I give out useful information. It’s more just a bunch of thoughts that have been trapped in my mind for a while now. -End Note

As I’m sure most of you are aware there will be a livestream next week (Dec 8), with it’s primary purpose being to inform us on the upcoming changes in the next patch. Which is supposed to be really big and exciting mind you.

And while I am really exited to see that the we are getting patches and that someone still loves the game, and while i’m also extremely curious so to see what changes they make, there is that one shred of fear when it comes to the issue of character balancing. Particularly the balancing with Deande, hence, this thread is where it is.

I feel it’s safe to say that I am an above average player with the character, having played hundreds of matches with her alone and getting the vast majority of my PVP kills with her. I’ve also played with a lot of you people who are probably going to reply, so you know I know what I’m talking about when it comes to this character.

So my point to this whole thread is this: Deande, in no way shape or form, under any circumstances what so ever, NEEDS a buff. Now that’s not to say a buff wouldn’t be welcome, so long as it’s just that, and so long as it’s not so major that people flock to her in droves as the new “OP” character. She can be perfectly effective in the state that she is in if the player is willing to learn how to play her. And past a basic understanding of how she works you can generate a whole lot of salt from people who don’t know anything about Deande.

My sticking point: she’s effective where she is.

Numbers, however, might say otherwise. When someone less experienced with how she works tries to use her they tend to die a lot and not get very many kills. No offence to people who want to learn, I mean what better way to get into a character than actually playing them? But those early games can have “Man this character sucks” effect on people. I know. I’ve seen the deaths and heard the whining time and again. And I feel like any numbers that might get looked at up in GBX would portray that same “man this character sucks feeling”.

So what do they do? Buff. That’s great and fine and all, last patches buffs were perfect size. And I wouldn’t mind a few more things that size in areas that are important (cough, ult self stun at the end, cough). But I don’t want an overhaul or a rework or anything major.

Why, you may ask? Because Ghalt.

Okay hear me out on this, Ghalt got his stun removed, which was an essential part of playing him before the last patch. They did this to promote different types of gameplay instead of just the (hook+stun)team mates=kill formula. To compensate for the loss of the stun they buffed his primary damage (And did a few other things I can’t remember).

On the Deande side of things, there has been a scenario running through my head where gearbox decides Deande is too difficult for people to play, despite having the “advanced” tag. So they buff her. A lot. similar to what they did to Ghalt. Only they have to take something away to, right? because if they don’t then these straight buffs just make anyone who previously knew how to play her OP. And what ability that we all know and love is capable of delivering 1000+ damage? Burst dash. Now the game would be no fun if people could run around with “insta-active”, level 1 slowing, 12 second cool down burst dashes if a skilled player could exploit that to one shot enemies at full health and shields, now would it?

They nerf calculated risk.

And while they are at it they take away the vertical of drop kick because if such a strong character can escape like that it would also be OP.

In short she gets the Ghalt treatment, for a different reason though. She becomes something else. maybe a front line brawler-assassin that anyone can play? Maybe a pseudo pendles? Something that is less badass. Something that requires less skill. Something that I have less interest to play.

Of course this this is just my in my mind right now. All speculation. Just a scenario that I can’t get rid of in my head. If I was to be honest I have my doubts that they would do something so drastic, but hey, look what happened to El dragon. Of course I’ll keep an open mind, but just being my human self I am resistant to change.

In summary, just remember my sticking point: she’s effective where she is.

And GBX, please be careful.

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I share your concerns. This is exact reason stopped playing Benedict and Kleese. Difficult to use characters got unnecessarily buffed because they were too difficult to use by the majority of players. I’m almost hoping Rath doesn’t get changed because he is one of the few characters that I can still enjoy playing and if he gets over-buffed then I don’t know what I’ll do.

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I still think Rath needs a small buff. Maybe not an entire overhaul like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, but just a little extra damage and maybe make his passive actually do something for the first 5 levels so he can finally compete with the other assassins for something outside of hard cc.

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I would agree to a buff to his passive as long as it’s not over the top but not so much on his damage. His strength as an assassin is in his ability to chase and disrupt fleeing targets, not straight DPS. He’s really underrated by the community but he still gets work done in the right hands.

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Somebody around here has been saying this since literally beta. Won’t name drop. He’ll be here soon in any case

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Oh I totally agree that he’s deadly when played right. Hell, there was a 2 week period just before the October 13th patch where people would insta ban him against me whenever we did 10 mans. But my reasoning for buffing Rath is mainly due to the situations where he can be picked. In Rath’s current state, he’s mostly a niche pick because several team comps can shut him down very quickly if they’re coordinated. Phoebe on the other hand, can fit on a plethora of team comps and fulfill a variety of roles. With one of the main reasons for this being the simple difference in dps. Not saying that Rath should do equal dps to Phoebe (because that would probably break him), but just a small increase to put him up to par with Phoebe in terms of viability would be nice.

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Very true. Rath is a difficult pick against coordinated teams, it makes waiting for an opportunity to punish much harder (but not impossible). I can’t say much for 10 man games since most of my experience is either solo queue or with a small group of friends. The closest I came to that was a game where my group of friends (5 in total) ran into some of our friends (also in a group of 5). We were all skilled players and I chose Rath. Ended up going 17 and 3 that game.

I will say that having Rath on a coordinated team leads to amazing set ups for other assassins. Inflicting 3 CCs on one person with a decent burst of damage gives characters like Deande or Pendles an easy target to ambush from stealth.

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I think I know who you mean. Was a little late to the forums though and mostly solo queued plus mostly Pve early game so I guess now I’ll take a shot at it.

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This thread reminds me that I should learn how to use Burst Dash properly.

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Before he gets a buff, they need to rework his kit.

His kit is too encouraging of the knockup+silence+slow+Ult. To the point that it’s the only way most Rath’s play.

I wholeheartedly agree. I think Mellka’s in a similar spot; I’ve been playing her a lot lately and she definitely needs an increase to her base health and her melee damage. Any more than this, however, and we get the same problem - she becomes a completely different character. Which I don’t want to happen.

HELL NO!!!

Rath’s kit is amazing. It does encourage that combo and that combo fails miserably against coordinated teams or just moderately skilled players. Truly skilled Rath players acknowledge him as the best disruptor in the game (yes, even better than Kelvin) and not just a one trick pony. If his kit gets reworked I would assume that he would get the same treatment as Attikus. Removing his disruptor qualities and making him just another brawler. We have way too many of those as it is.

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You only immediately follow up with a crossblade slow if either a. It’s a caldarius, or b. they’re gonna die from crossblade anyways. There really isn’t much reason outside of those scenarios to not follow up a CatSmash with head juggling, since it provides the same thing that a crossblade slow would have while still having that skill on cooldown just in case they manage to slip away from you. As for the whole “his kit is too one dimensional” thing, that argument can be said for nearly every characters. Mediocre Kelvins will just chomp minions, sublimate when low, and stun people with ice wall. Good kelvins will call out their stuns so Orendi can get a easy early game kill that allows her to level up faster and reach her much dreaded late game quicker. Good Kelvins also know how to place the wall to do more than just stun someone. They’ll block a minion wave so they can buy a bit more time before their team shows up and cleans up, block enemies from securing a kill on teammates, separate two or more enemies so it’ll be easier to pick them off, and probably do several things that I can’t come up with right now. They still do the simple bread and butter tactics of sublimating for an escape, eating minions, stunning low hp targets then chomping, etc, but the difference between a good kelvin and a mediocre one isn’t whether or not they use simple strategies. The difference is how they use those strategies to coordinate with their team and ultimately win them the game. The same thing can be applied to Rath. A mediocre Rath will just knock up people, crossblade/head juggle, ult, get a kill, and either run away or die. Meanwhile a good Rath will use his Catalytic Smash for several other things than to just secure a kill. He’ll stall a wave long enough for his team to arrive and help him clean up, set up kills for his team, disrupt enemies by either canceling certain abilities (ISIC’s ult is a great example), or denying them a kill on one of his teammates.

Back when El Dragon was actually viable, @Dr_H0H0 and I had this fun strategy we called “The Dream Team”. The whole set up was based on him as Dragon and me as Rath chaining our cc together to guarantee kills on nearly everything we set sights on. And once we hit late game, everything died. The basic combo was this: Hoho would clothesline in on a group of enemies, knock up, then ult, I would come in with my knockup to stall them long enough to guarantee that hoho’s dragon splash would land, then I would jump in with my ult while he would pummel away at whoever we deemed the biggest threat. Granted, we didn’t get much opportunity to do the full combo, but when we did, we guaranteed that at least 3 enemy players would die from it (then of course, El Dragon got nerfed and the dream was dead). The point I’m trying to illustrate is that you can pull off some crazy plays with anyone no matter how simple as long as you’re coordinated, and understand how that character plays at a fundamental level.

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Rath is perfectly fine in pubs. Most of my complaints comes from how he fares in 10 mans.

The difference between a 10 mans match and a 5 stack v 5 stack is the draft. People know you’re going to pick Rath before hand, and will counter pick accordingly. Because of how Rath fares in terms of matchups, he’s almost always a last pick, and even then he’s at the complete mercy of what they enemy chooses (picking Rath into a good Toby is a suicide mission. You’ll have to entirely rely on a fellow Whiskey to be able to do anything in lane). As is stands right now, characters can generally fall into 4 categories when it comes to drafts. There’s the “priority” characters that will almost always appear on the draft as either a first pick or a ban. Examples are Boldur, Galilea, and Benedict. Next, there’s the “secondary” characters. These guys often appear in drafts, but don’t quite have the same priority as someone like Galilea. They’re probably the most balanced characters since they can typically fit a variety of roles without too much opportunity cost and can even be the center of a team comp with everyone else choosing to build around them. Examples of such are Marquis, Phoebe, and Alani. Then there’s the the “complimentary” characters that only really work as either a support for one of the priority picks, or as a counter to an enemy pick. What separates these characters from a secondary character is that they usually either have a lot of opportunity cost, or have some common hard counters that prevent them from being a reliable pick in many drafts. Some of these characters include Rath, Miko, and Toby. Lastly, there’s the “niche picks”. These characters are only used in very specific scenarios, have tremendous opportunity cost, and are at the absolute mercy of the draft. They should never be anything more than a last pick in a serious setting. Some of these characters include Pendles (because of all the reveals), El Dragon (because of the nerfs) , and Kleese (though he’s only a niche pick on meltdown. On incursion he’s fine, but I’d imagine the draft will still hurt him tremendously there too. Seriously, the draft absolute kills Kleese on meltdown). While Rath doesn’t have it nearly as bad as some other characters (poor Kleese), I’d like to see him become more of a secondary pick instead of just something you grab because they already took Phoebe and we need a little extra cc.

Though with that all being said, I’d totally be fine with just a passive buff for now. The last thing I want is for Rath to turn into another case of Benedict.

I wish I could play with you and compare our Rath play but from what you have said here I assume you are on PC. (PS4 for me) It’s rare to see another Rath that acknowledges him for his true potential. And your “Dream Team” sounds like a very fun version of what I do with my friends when they play Pendles or Deande, only more… explosive. Might I ask what what gear you like to use on him? I’ve been experimenting with gear and I find that a blue Jennerit sprint speed and a blue Jennerit movement speed (both flawed) works well with him and I’m experimenting around with the third gear using max health or HP regen.

That’s some interesting insight into how PC players do the 10 mans I hear about. And Rath does do great in a 5 stack vs 5 stack but I want to say at least half my games with him were either solo queue or with only one or two friends. He is not a very safe pick if you can’t trust your teammates but I choose him anyway because I enjoy playing him so much. [quote=“ZombiePizzaMan, post:14, topic:1551654”]
The last thing I want is for Rath to turn into another case of Benedict.
[/quote]

Benedict is my 5th most played character and I can count on one hand how many times I’ve played him since he was buffed.

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You’re right, I do play on PC. And I agree, it’s nice to see another Rath main about.

The Dream Team was the best. Still sad that it’s not as viable as it used to be (it can still work, but there’s no longer the potential for massive team wipes like pre-patch).

For gear, right now I’m currently running a green Eldrid gauntlet with +max health after surviving for 3 minutes, a green Eldrid sword with the same secondary effect, and an epic vest with + health regen (though I really want to find one with + damage). I used to run a move speed based build, but I’ve found running a health and damage build to more suit the way that I like to play him (I play him as more of a laning support, the health is useful for dealing with the minions since I have to get close to do damage to them).

Well, DUH. That’s what a rework is. I’m not asking for a nerf on his abilities, I want his abilities to change in how they work somehow.

I haven’t the faintest idea how it should work, but I’d much rather him be a dedicated assassin like he’s specified as in the overview. Or at the very least make changes to how his helix upgrades work.

Imo, everyone in the game needs some reworks. I’d like half of the possible helixes for each character add something new, rather than just flat stat increases.

Rath for example, his helix for the doubled range on catyclsmic smash to be changed so that you build up the extra length on your smash with melee attacks. This would also go in line with his lore.

I dunno, I’m just not a fan of flat stat boosts. That’s why I love Whiskey Foxtrot, all of his abilities can be changed massively based on his chosen helixes.

I like having lots of viable options, as opposed to how many of the characters have so many useless helix options. cough Mellka cough

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I’d love to read all that, but my eyes disagree with me today.

Sorry. Let me say though, my problem with Rath isn’t just for him alone though. It just seems that there are so many helix options that far surpass the others, you only see one, maybe two builds for each character.

The fact that every time I meet a Rath, he always does the same thing, no matter what his level is, and no matter how skilled he is, just nails it home in regards to him, imo.

I just want every fight to be different every time, that’s why I love this game, the depth in gameplay. So when I see so many characters using the same build over, and over, and over again… it just breaks my heart. ;-;

The only reason I’m so hard on Rath is because he and Mellka are affected by it the most. So many of their helix options SUCK in comparison to the others.

But @EdenSophia is the only person who I’ve seen play Mellka for more than five minutes, so no one brings up Mellka other than to call for another nerf on her poison, so I never really talk about her helix, which is also in need of a rework.

EDIT: Side note, do NOT, I repeat, NOT f*ck with Eden as Mellka. It’s like she just becomes one with Mell. Goddamn poison rabbit.

Interestingly enough, that is almost the exact set up I ran before I swapped to my current movement speed set up. I find the health does give him a much more solid presence in the lane but when I’m playing with a team I usually have someone that maintains that presence for the team. The movement speed allows me to focus on disruption or securing kills. When I get evasive maneuvers at level seven it just feels like I’m immune to slows.

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As it stands right now there are at least three different ways to play Rath effectively (from my experience), each one very different from the rest. He can play the role of a pure disruptor, a pure assassin or a quality mix of the two. I’m actually drafting a guide on how to play Rath right now and in a day or two I think it’ll be ready. I’ll go into detail about the builds in the guide.

Rath is easy to use but difficult to master. Most people who play him don’t do well with him because of how difficult he is to use against coordinated team. Just because you don’t see good Rath players doesn’t mean they don’t exist. He isn’t really much of an assassin but more of a disruptor with good damage. He has his role in the game and just because you don’t see many people full filling that role with him doesn’t mean he can’t do it.

I like Rath the way he is right now and he is my most played character. He doesn’t need a rework just a little bit of love from the balance team.